The company Hackl und Söhne, which manufactured high quality clothing, was established in Vienna in 1843, and subsequently set up a factory around a manor house at Weitra in Lower Austria, 8 km south-east of Gmund. At its peak in the early 20th century the factory employed 500 people, as well as numerous outworkers who made up items of clothing in their own homes. The stream that originally powered the machinery had previously been used to work a paper mill and a saw mill.
A museum in the factory was opened in 1990. It illustrates all aspects of textile manufacture, not just preparation, spinning and weaving but production of carpets and fabrics for dresses and furnishings. The museum is the base for the Waldviertel Textilstrasse, a route that links together all the historical textile sites and collections in Lower Austria.